Happy 174th Birthday

To this old icon:

Completed on December 15th 1848 – at a cost of £15,871 – sure.

But first lit on this day in 1849. And that’s what counts for lighthouse birthdays.

The light, a 4-wick Argand burner, was lit on March 1st 1849. It was filled with rendered fat obtained from indigenous fat-tailed sheep, and produced a stationary white light of 4,500 candlepower.

The current light is ever so slightly more powerful than that, at 7,500,000 candlepower, flashes every 5 seconds and has a range of 30 nautical miles (56 km; 35 miles). Interestingly, it doesn’t rely on Eskom for illumination, but on occasion, it has stopped turning because of power outages.

Old school stuff. Pedal faster.

Company’s Garden Squares

Some point and shoot fun with the 50mm prime in and around the Company’s Gardens this morning, where my Dad and I got some breakfast and had a nice little wander on his birthday. Don’t ask which one, I think we’ve all lost count. I can write that in safety knowing that I’ve just made him a G&T by the pool.

Everything here from Cecil John Rhodes doing a Nazi salute to a Julia Skimmer (Orthetrum julia) on the edge of a pond; from fire damage to some of the Parliament building to a gosling; and from some happy words from JC through to some brutal (but not brutalist?) concrete and art deco architecture* on Wale Street.

I was actually incredibly impressed by how neat and tidy the whole place was. Really well looked after, and we always felt really safe and relaxed.

Still plenty of tourists around too, and a quick sighting of the MI Cape Town XX SA (IPL) T20** team including (but not limited to) pace bowler Kagiso Rabada…

…emerging from their hotel amidst flags and loud music, ahead of their game against the Sunrisers Eastern Cape.

* I dunno. Is it? I do science, not building. The 6000 miles… Yachting Correspondent will know. I’ll confirm once he’s been in touch. The pink one is definitely art deco. But it’s not on Wale Street.
** Good grief.

Day 30 – Happy Birthday

It can’t be much fun having a lockdown birthday when you are 14 years old. Especially a birthday where you can’t buy anything (save for chocolate and hand soap).

Thus, our 14 year old got chocolate and hand soap for his birthday today, with the promise of “a proper gift” like a rotisserie chicken, once the unnecessarily draconian rules have been relaxed a little.

In the meantime, a long weekend (for what it’s worth) which we will make as exciting and enjoyable as possible.

Talking of birds, the kids are doing the annual City Nature Challenge on iNaturalist this weekend. Last year, there was a hike in Silvermine, walks up the Liesbeek River and general freedom. This year, we’re stuck shooting whatever we can in the back garden:

To that end, here’s a Cape White-Eye (Zosterops virens) on the Sunbird feeder. The White-Eye is not a Sunbird, but then the bottle says ‘Brandy’ on the label and it’s certainly not got that in it, so I guess a little deception is par for the course.

I was going to get some other shots of birds in the peace and quiet of lockdown, but next-door are mowing their lawn again and all the birds have flown away.


Happy tenth birthday to our energetic, well-mannered, adventurous, minecrafting (obviously), early-rising, football-playing, respectful, loving, not-so-little-anymore bundle of joy.


He needs to stop growing up so fast now. Please. Thanks.

And, you know what? Well done to us parents as well, and thanks to all the family and friends (not least the amazing Poliswa) who have helped us – and him – get this far.


Level up. Next step – surviving the teenage years.